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  • Author or Editor: Ragnhild A. Sollund x
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This chapter is based on longitudinal research of the implementation and enforcement of CITES in Norway running from 2010–23. It concentrates mainly on the development of the enforcement of CITES in Norway and a change in regards to wildlife trade that took place in 2017, when the trade in reptiles went from being generally banned to partly legalized. This has entailed that reptiles as well as parrots are traded on the internet and the risk of laundering individuals who are illegally in trade with those who are traded legally. In addition, the legalization of reptile trade in Norway engenders further risk of animal abuse since anybody can buy a reptile and no demands are made concerning the skills of owners of exotic species, such as reptiles and parrots.

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This book addresses one of today’s most urgent issues: the loss of wildlife and habitat, which together constitute an ecological crisis. Combining studies from different disciplines such as law, political science and criminology with a focus on animal rights, the chapters explore the successes and failures of the international wildlife conservation and trade treaties, CITES and the BERN Convention.

While these conventions have played a crucial role in protecting endangered species from trade and in the rewilding of European large carnivores, the case studies in this book demonstrate huge variations in their implementation and enforcement across Europe. In conclusion, the book advocates for a non-anthropocentric policy approach to strengthen wildlife conservation in Europe.

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This chapter gives a brief introduction to International Environmental Law, specifically the CITES and Bern conventions, green criminology and the research project of which this book is part. An important issue for the CRIMEANTHROP project was animal rights that generally are absent in nature conventions, since ‘wildlife’ is accorded value first when a species has become endangered and, even under such circumstances, the protection accorded to individuals is minimal. Generally, freeborn animals (wildlife) are regarded as ‘nature’ rather than sentient individuals with interests. Human interest, whether in meat production or other objectification of animals as products, is constantly prioritized. Together, the contributions to this book provide a broad picture of the effects, or lack of effects, of international nature conservation conventions in protecting wildlife from harms and premature deaths caused by human action.

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The final chapter sums up the findings of the book. The contributions illustrate that the ways in which the conventions are implemented and enforced vary between countries. For example, in Spain animals who are confiscated as a measure to enforce CITES are not euthanized, as they are in Norway. Moreover, the protection that is accorded wildlife in Europe appears to be stronger in countries that are members of the European Union, through the Habitat Directive, than the protection that is offered through the Bern Convention, since the Habitats Directive has a more powerful enforcement apparatus. While all the time more research confirms the capacities of non-human animals, the value that is accorded to individual non-human animals and their interests still lags significantly behind. Although there are provisions in regards to animal welfare in CITES, and although wildlife is accorded intrinsic value in the Bern Convention’s preamble, the basis of these conventions is in both cases anthropocentric.

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